A video has emerged showing a harbour warden trying to force a fee from a family of sailors anchored in a ‘free area’ outside of the harbour.
51-year-old Enrico Cossutta, who used to be in the Italian Navy, was on holiday with his wife and eleven-year-old daughter off the Croatian coast.
The family from Treviso, Italy anchored up outside a full village harbour when the concessionaire demanded payment and tried to pull in their yacht when Enrico said no.
Speaking with Caters News, Enrico said:
We organised a meeting with a long time friend in Silba island. We arrived there at 6 pm and the little village harbour was full.
Just outside the harbour, there are a certain number of buoys where you can stop your boat, paying a little fee to a concessionaire.
Our friends got a buoy for the night, but there were no other available places. Too bad, I decided to move outside the buoy’s area and to stop in a free area by anchor.
Two hours later, after collecting money from the bouys boats, the concessionaire approached us with a strange request: ‘If you want to stay here, you must pay half of the buoy’s rate’.
Usually, they survey the buoys areas [and] invite other boats to anchor away [so as] not to cause dangerous situations.
On the contrary, in our case we were in the right place and he just wanted to get extra money without the right to do it.
Of course, my answer was ‘no way’.
His response was what you can see in the video my wife recorded with [her] smartphone.
He grabbed the anchor chain and started to drag my boat around, a dangerous situation for us and other boats.
Our friends were on a tender boat just some meters away looking at the scene. They immediately called 112 [the police].
The whole action can be seen in the video. In a few minutes, all was over and we spent the night just 20 metres away from the original anchor point.
The morning after I showed the video to the Port Authority. They were distraught by the images and apologised.